Gonzaga Classic 2024

Written by Trisha Kanyamarala

One of the strong weekend tournaments in Ireland the Gonzaga Classic, this year witnessed 200+ players participating in three categories, Masters, Championships, and Challengers. It is annually held at the prestigious secondary school, Gonzaga College in Dublin.

Masters section in action!

In the Masters section, there were 50 participants and 16 titled players including 3 Grandmasters in the event.

Going into the final day GM Ante Saric and GM Matthew Turner were on 100% score leading the tournament before the penultimate round. After round 4 three players were in joint lead, with a half point ahead of the field. It was exciting to see who would be the clear winner, all the top boards drew their final round.

Players fighting for the championship.

GM Ante Saric drew his game against GM Daniel Fernandez and came joint first in the tournament, with better tie-breaks. Interesting fact, Saric won last year’s edition of the Gonzaga Classic Masters with a clear half-point ahead of the field.

Saric managed to equalize with the Black pieces early in the game. Photo: johnnycunnane


The last round was the longest round of the tournament where the game went over 5 hours of play! The game between Tarun against Jacob Flynn looked like the game would never finish, everyone was waiting for their game to be over!

Tarun missed the resource with 76.Bc7 followed by c7 and it is hard for black to stop the pawn from queening, instead White played 76.h7 which allowed them to go into a theoretically drawn endgame where Jacob defended well to secure the half point. In previous articles, we covered an endgame between GM Alex Baburin and Jacob Flynn which lasted for several hours. Do check the interesting 2 Knights vs 1 pawn game here: https://ictl.ie/blogs/alex-baburins-endgame-play-at-irish-championship-2023/

Intense long battle! |Photo: johnnycunnane

I scored the same points as Tarun but I drew too many games in a 5 round tournament. Overall it was a nice tournament to play over the weekend with some interesting games played. I wish I played more fighting chess with fewer draws!

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